A living will is a legal document that guides your doctors, and health care agents (selected by you) regarding your wishes for medical treatment in the following situations:
The living will gives you the ability to tell your physicians and doctors your wishes when it comes to life-prolonging measures in these situations listed above. The living will is an essential piece of a person’s estate plan because we never truly know when we might be faced with a life threatening situation, where a living will is necessary.
A health care power of attorney is a legal document that names a person, and sometimes an alternate person who you authorize to make these health care decisions for you, in the instance you are unable to do so by yourself.
By planning ahead, you can make clear to others what type of treatment you want in most medical situations, this makes it easier for your family to make decisions during moments of grief and crisis. By creating and signing these documents it is a way to initiate a conversation with your loved ones about your wishes and is a way to be able to control what happens at the end of your life. We know it may be hard to think about moments where you are unable to make decisions for your health, but that is why it is most important.
A living will and healthcare power of attorney document is part of Adkins Law PLLC Estate Planning packages. Contact us today to find out what packages we offer for Estate Planning, and which is better for your family. Call us or text us to schedule an appointment.
The health care power of attorney is a document that works in conjunction with a living will. It is a document where you can designate someone to be your representative, in the event you are unable to communicate your decisions about your health care. In the most basic form, a health care power of attorney says, "I want this person to make decisions about my health care if I am unable to do so."
This needs to be a person that you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them for yourself. Most people choose their spouse, partner, relative, or close friend as their health care agent.
North Carolina requires that your health care agent be (i) at least 18 years of age, and (ii) not being compensated for providing you health care. Choosing this person is an important decision, and you should think carefully about who you want to assume this responsibility. This person may eventually be deciding whether or not life support will be in your best interests.
If you are in need of appointing someone as your healthcare power of attorney, Adkins Law may be able to help. Call today to set up a FREE Estate Planning consultation in our Huntersville office.
When you create an estate plan, you need the assistance of professionals from several fields. Primarily, you need to meet with the following:
- An estate planning attorney who can help you design and create your will and/or trust. Not only will this professional create your estate plan, they will ensure that your plan meets both federal and state law requirements.
- A tax planning professional that can assist you in minimizing the amount of income taxes that your beneficiaries would be obligated to pay on the income and assets they inherit.
- A financial advisor that can assist you in designing a suitable investment portfolio for your assets. Your financial advisor should be knowledgeable about estate planning needs and the laws concerning retirement accounts.
When you work with a team, a team who routinely communicates with each other per your direction, you maximize your opportunity for your assets to grow with minimal impact to yourself and your beneficiaries. If you are unsure as to whether your estate is large enough to consider the services of an estate planning team, arrange complimentary consultations with professionals to determine whether their services are necessary.
The majority of Americans have heard of estate planning and know that it’s an important thing to think about before tragedy strikes. However, most people underestimate the value of their estates because they do not fully understand what an estate is and what it is comprised of. An estate is comprised of everything that an individual owns: a car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common, these material possessions get left behind when they die. By definition an estate plan the anticipatory act of preparing for the transfer of an individual’s wealth and assets after his or her death.
The Advantages of Having an Estate Planning Attorney
It is no secret that estate planning attorneys can be a costly investment. Some attorneys charge hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for an estate plan while legal document preparation companies charge as low as four hundred dollars. However, hiring an attorney who specializes in estate planning can be advantageous for a plethora of reasons.
First and foremost, and estate plan is an important legal document that will most likely effect an individual’s family for generations. With a document of this importance, it is best to trust an attorney who specializes in estate planning. Secondly, legal document preparation companies create attorney drafted legal documents that are similar to question and answer worksheets. Documents that are drafted in this fashion, are not tailored to a person’s specific situation. Though these documents are legally binding, due to their impersonal nature, there are key elements that can be missed. For example, an estate planning attorney will counsel individuals by listening to their concerns and goals for their families and future generations. A knowledgeable attorney will utilize their background in family law, community property, and real estate and taxes in estate planning meetings with their clients. Finally, at the conclusion of estate planning meetings attorneys will ask about the outcome of decisions that their clients have made to ensure that they feel prepared and empowered to provide for their families with their completed estate plan.
Funding a Living Trust
Upon meeting with an attorney and completing an estate plan, it’s important to begin funding the living trust. A living trust is funded when it owns something, real-estate, bank accounts, a business, or other personal property. A living trust owns something by transferring the title form the owner as an individual to the owner trustee of his living trust.
Making Estate Plans Bulletproof
Estate planning is an important tool in protecting an individual and their spouse in retirement and in leaving a legacy for an individual’s heirs. It would be a lengthy process to come up with an exhaustive list of the ways to make an estate plan as invulnerable as possible. Instead, listed below are common mistakes that people make when they construct their estate plans:
Take a look at the December 2014 issue of Huntersville Magazine featuring Adkins Law PLLC.
Adkins Law PLLC is located in Huntersville, North Carolina and primarily serves Mecklenburg County and the Lake Norman area.
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WHAT IS A HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY?
In North Carolina, a healthcare power of attorney works in conjunction with a living will. This is the document that specifies your health care agent, which is the person who will make medical decisions for you in the event of your incapacitation. Your health care agent needs to be someone close to you who you can trust. An estate planning lawyer can help you appoint a health care agent.
WHO CAN BE MY HEALTH CARE AGENT?
Most people choose their spouse, partner, relative, or close friend as their health care agent. North Carolina requires that your health care agent be (i) at least 18 years of age, and (ii) not being compensated for providing you health care. An estate planning lawyer can help you determine who will qualify as your health care agent.
WHAT IF I APPOINTED MY FORMER SPOUSE AS MY HEALTH CARE AGENT?
In North Carolina, if the principal appoints his or her spouse as their agent, such spouse's authority to act as agent is revoked upon the entry by a court of a decree of divorce or separation. N.C.G.S. 32A-20(c).
Speak to an estate planning lawyer at Adkins Law if you have questions concerning health care powers of attorney. Adkins Law is located in Huntersville, NC and primarily serves Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Gaston County, Iredell County, Cabarrus County, and the Lake Norman area.